Zero Waste: Choose Glass Straws over Plastic

I didn’t know that over 500,000,000 single-use plastic straws are discarded every day in the United States alone. I don’t even know the stats for Canada and the rest of the world. Single-use plastic straws are ludicrously bad for the environment, and we can’t seem to avoid them. They’re served with every drink at restaurants, bars, events, and parties, whether we ask for them or not.

Like other plastics, they do not biodegrade, so they exist forever. Some straws can be recycled, but not all, and it can depend on the recycling program where you live. They usually end up in the garbage anyway, adding to landfills, and polluting parks, beaches, and oceans. Have you seen those videos of marine biologists removing a straw from a turtle’s nose? I won’t link to those stories of straws’ impact on marine life and birds because the images are seriously disturbing.

Instead, let’s focus on solutions. The easiest thing you can do at a bar or restaurant is to ask for your drink with no straw. But certain drinks like thick smoothies, bubble tea, and some cocktails do require straws to avoid a messy experience. You can encourage your favourite haunt to switch to compostable straws, like ones made from corn or paper.

As for sustainable solutions for the home, I use glass straws made from borosilicate glass. There are also reusable metal and bamboo straws, not to mention straws made from straw.

I favour glass straws because I can stick them in the dishwasher. Borosilicate glass is a durable glass used in laboratory glassware. I’ve been using mine for six months and I’ve not had any problems with breakage. Since the straws are transparent, I can easily see clean out anything that’s stuck in there with a pipe cleaner.

I bought mine from a Canadian company called Glass Sipper. The straws are hand made in Vancouver and you can buy them plain or with cute designs. They come in various lengths. The thicker straw (with the snowman) is great for thick smoothies. If I’m bringing my smoothie out somewhere, I’ll toss the straw in a zip-close reusable bag, can also be washed in the dishwasher.

Will you say no to plastic straws? Let me know in the comments below.




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